A dance instructor, especially one who is used to working with engaged couples, will help boost your confidence, make you look better on the dance floor and can even help you plan routines if you like. Many couples also find dance lessons a fun and romantic experience.
Wedding Dance TraditionsAt a traditional wedding ceremony, the bride and groom have the first dance alone on the dance floor. This first dance starts off the reception and is often accompanied by a song that is very special to the couple, usually a love song. As happy as your guests will be to watch this intimate first joint act together, however, they will appreciate it if you pick a fairly short song, two minutes long or so. Your dance instructor will also be happy to help you pick out an appropriate song.
Some couples like to use this opportunity to show off with an elaborate choreographed routine. If you're really into dancing, this can be fun for you and your guests, but if you're not comfortable, a routine can stress you out. You don't want to spend your ceremony reviewing steps in your head! In any case, if you'd like to plan a routine, hiring a dance instructor to help you is a good idea.
Traditionally, the couple's first dance is followed by a father-daughter dance and sometimes a mother-son dance as well. Other common "spotlight dances" include the parents' dances and dances between the bride and groomsmen and the groom and bridesmaids. How many of these traditional dances you want to do depends entirely on how traditional your wedding is, how many people are involved, and how much everyone involved likes to dance.
Picking a Dance InstructorYou have nearly as many options when picking a dance instructor as you have songs to pick from for your first dance. You can hire a private instructor, often from a dance studio, for private lessons or join a group lesson at a studio. For more affordable lessons, check with your local community center. You can even teach yourself with instructional books and videos, though you might want to stay away from Fred Astaire movies until you've had a lesson or two.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when picking a dance instructor:
The best way to find a good instructor is to get a referral from a friend. If you're nervous about dancing, the best bet for finding an understanding instructor is to ask a friend who was equally nervous and who found an effective instructor.
Find out how experienced your instructor is. Some dance studios will assign less experienced instructors to wedding couples since they tend to buy fewer numbers of lessons.
Be sure to tell your instructor what kind of dance you want to do. If you're not sure, talk about the kind of music you're considering and your instructor can recommend types of dances. If you're having a private lesson, you can bring your music to play at the lesson.
Make sure you give yourself enough time! You'll need at least a month to learn your moves, and if you're holding your wedding in one of the most popular summer months, local classes and instructor will be booked.
Ask if you can sit in on a dance class before joining. Some instructors might even let you try one lesson for free.
Virginia Dance InstructorsThe Wedding Dance Specialist (Alexandria, Falls Church, Reston, Arlington): Wedding dance company with studios all across the DC metropolitan area, offering private, semi-private and group lessons.
Sapphire Ballroom and Dance Center (Christiansburg): Studio offering private lessons, workshops and group classes throughout the New River Valley.
Rigby's Jig Dance Studio (Richmond): Studio offering wedding packages including private and group lessons and a dance party to practice.
Dancesport VA (Virginia Beach): Studio that offers not only group and private classes, but also social dance parties and regular practice time.